• morphometry;
  • purpleback squid;
  • Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis

Abstract. The rhynchoteuthion stage of the jumbo squid, Dosidicus gigas, has morphological characteristics similar to the paralarvae of the purpleback squid, Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis, making it difficult to determine the locations, seasons, and conditions where spawning of jumbo squid occurs. In this study, 180 paralarvae of D. gigas were collected off the west coast of the Baja California peninsula and identified by sequencing a 369-bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I gene. Of these, 77 specimens, 0.8–6.0 mm in mantle length, were described. Indices based on morphometric ratios were used to determine whether the shapes of different body structures were reliable for identifying the paralarvae. For two ratios, the results appear to discriminate members of D. gigas from those of S. oualaniensis. Additionally, eye or intestinal photophores were not observed in any paralarvae of D. gigas. Morphological and morphometric information provided a valuable basis for the discrimination and identification of these two species.